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Council first to pledge support to TUC’s Great Jobs Agenda

Published on Thursday, June 7, 2018

LEICESTER City Council is due to become the first local authority in the UK to sign up to a Trades Union agenda to guarantee workplace standards.

It has pledged to sign up to the TUC’s Great Jobs Agenda, which sets out standards to ensure fair pay, guaranteed hours, safe and healthy workplaces, proper union representation, decent treatment and the chance to learn and progress at work.

The campaign is not just about what the city council can do as an employer, but also what it can do to promote standards to other employers locally.

The move is due to be formally proposed in a motion at the council’s next meeting of Full Council, on June 14.

The TUC’s Great Jobs Agenda will see employers make a commitment to providing staff with fair, stable and safe employment, measured across a range of factors covering pay, conditions and prospects.

Many closely mirror the standards already used by Leicester City Council.

This includes providing employees with a voice at work, through trade union recognition and consulting on important decisions; and ensuring fair and decent pay reflecting the real living wage rather than the lower level set by the Government’s minimum wage, which the council has already done for a number of years.

In addition, the council has worked to narrow the gap between the highest and lowest earners, and reduce the gap between men’s and women’s pay.

The city council also works to ensure a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of discrimination, harassment and bullying, and providing contracts with guaranteed hours.

Workplace learning and progression is assured through a focus on more high-quality apprenticeships, while significant joint work with Trade Unions has been done on delivering a health and wellbeing strategy to ensure a safe and healthy working environment.

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Here in Leicester I very much want to make sure the city council, both as an employer and in what we do to influence other employers, sets a good example by having the highest standards of employment, proper pay and training, and ensuring safe work environments.

“The Great Jobs Agenda is a relatively new campaign and the TUC is rightly encouraging all councils to pledge their support.

“I would very much like Leicester to set the example to others nationally by being the first local authority to formally pledge our support and commitment to this very important campaign.”

The city council already works closely with local businesses on a number of initiatives to raise workplace standards.

For example, Leicester and Leicestershire are national pathfinders in the ‘Better Business for All’ partnership which works to identify issues facing local businesses and helps provide effective support services.

The city council also works extensively with the textile and garment industry to tackle unethical and illegal working practices and ensure high standards of employment practice.

Newly procured council contracts are LWF Living Wage compliant – staff working more than eight weeks for two hours or more on any council sites must be paid the real living wage.

Some major contracts, particularly for construction work, include employment and skills plans so contractors commit to creating, furthering or completing apprenticeships.

All tenderers are asked to declare any previous employment tribunals convictions, and can be excluded if these are considered unacceptable and appropriate remedial action hasn’t been taken.

TUC Midlands Secretary Lee Barron said: “We are delighted Leicester City Council has adopted our great jobs agenda.
“Giving workers a voice at work and the chance to progress is something all employers should embrace.
“Workplaces that treat their staff well are more productive and hang on to their best people.
“We need more councils and businesses to follow Leicester City Council’s example and sign up to our agenda.”